Baker Hughes invests in Electrochaea to advance biomethanation

Energy technology firm Baker Hughes has invested in Electrochaea, a company developing novel proprietary biomethanation technology.

Through its investment, Baker Hughes will enhance its broader carbon capture and utilisation (CCU) portfolio and provide an integrated solution for customers across the CO2 value chain to enable the production of low-carbon synthetic natural gas (SNG) from captured CO2 and green hydrogen.

The Electrochaea biomethanation process is an accessible, efficient, scalable, and complementary technology to Baker Hughes’ CCU portfolio. The two firms will join forces to accelerate the scale-up and industrialisation of the technology and develop the commercialisation of an innovative, integrated CCU solution. Once commercialised, the solution will provide customers with a unique ability to transform CO2 emissions into clean SNG.

Baker Hughes will draw from its portfolio of carbon capture technologies, including its Compact Carbon Capture design, to provide solutions tailored to specific applications using both CO2 sources with biogenic origin, such as biomass and waste-to-energy plants, as well as sources based on fossil fuel combustion, such as industrial plants.

“The combination of these technologies provides an integrated method to decarbonise hard-to-abate sectors such as road transportation and heating,” said Rod Christie, executive vice-president of turbomachinery and process solutions at Baker Hughes.

“This agreement is another deliberate step in our strategy to position Baker Hughes for new energy frontiers like CCU by investing in emerging technologies and combining them with our own proven capabilities.

“Together, we can develop and scale faster, providing integrated solutions that can effectively decarbonise a range of industries.”

SNG is methane that originates from a synthesis process that starts from carbon and hydrogen feedstock. Compared to RNG and biomethane, which have biological origin, or fossil-based natural gas, SNG reuses CO2 that would otherwise be emitted into the atmosphere, therefore contributing to significantly mitigating greenhouse gas emissions.

Electrochaea’s technology produces SNG from green hydrogen and CO2 that can come from a range of sources such as biogas, fermentation off-gas, or captured from single point emitters such as power and industrial plants.

SNG can be used for low-carbon heating, transport, and industrial applications. Additionally, once SNG is injected into existing natural gas pipelines, it can be used as a form of energy storage.

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